PHILADELPHIA (KDKA/AP) – The final US Airways flight has begun its roundtrip journey between Philadelphia and San Francisco.
The plane is Flight 1939, named for the airline’s founding year.
The flight left Philadelphia International Airport at 10:36 a.m. Friday – 31 minutes late.
The Airbus A321 made scheduled stops in Charlotte, North Carolina, Phoenix, Arizona, and San Francisco, California, and will as a red-eye flight back to Philadelphia on Saturday.
But some people were offended the Pittsburgh-born airline didn’t stop in the Steel City.
“It’s the final flight and the final insult that they wouldn’t stop in Pittsburgh after all this, where the airline started,” said Former Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey.
Not too long ago, US Airways was the region’s largest employer with 12,000 employees and 550 flights a day. It started here as a mail service in 1939 and began carrying passengers as All American Aviation in the ’50s.
After the airline left the area, a small number of former employees found jobs with other small carriers, but the pain of US Airways’ final departure still stings.
“It’s a shame that they turned their backs on Pittsburgh, because Pittsburgh is an easy city to transition and so many people lost their jobs,” said former employee Tina Haislup, of Moon Township.
All future flights will fly under the American Airlines banner, following the completion of a merger announced in 2013.
US Airways was formed in Pittsburgh as All American Aviation. It later operated as Allegheny Airlines before becoming US Airways.
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